The Woman Who Decided to Die (Challenges and Choices at the Edges of Medicine)
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The Woman Who Decided to Die (Challenges and Choices at the Edges of Medicine)

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Advances in medical technology force us to struggle with new and often gut-wrenching decisions. How do we know when someone is dead and not just in a coma? Should a convicted felon qualify for a new heart? In The Woman Who Decided to Die, novelist and medical ethicist Ronald Munson takes readers to the very edges of medicine, where treatments fail and where people must cope with helplessness, mortality, and doubt. Using personal narratives that place us right next to doctors, patients, and care givers as they make decisions, Munson explores ten riveting case-based stories, told with a writer's eye for illuminating detail. These include a young woman with terminal leukemia more worried about her family than herself, a stepfather asked to donate a liver segment to his stepson, a student who believes she is being controlled by invisible Agents, and a psychiatrist-patient who prizes his autonomy until the end. Raising fundamental questions about human relationships, this is an essential book about the very nature of life and death., Preface ; The Woman Who Decided to Die ; Like Leaving a Note ; The Agents ; Unsuitable ; Nothing Personal ; "He's Had Enough" ; Not More Equal ; The Last Thing You Can Do For Him ; The Boy Who Was Addicted to Pain ; It Seemed Like a Good Idea ; Notes ; Index, Munson's stories are captivating, and each ends with a lesson in medical ethics...illuminating... Library Journal, Ronald Munson is Professor of Philosophy of Science and Medicine at University of Missouri-St. Louis. His books include the award-winning Raising the Dead: Organ Transplants, Ethics, and Society (OUP, 2002); Intervention and Reflection: Basic Issues in Medical Ethics; and the novels Nothing Human, Fan Mail, and Night Vision.

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